Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Activity Predicts Less Disability Before/After Stroke

Neurology; ePub 2017 Apr 5; Rist, Capistrant, et al

Physical inactivity predicts a higher risk of being dependent both before and after stroke, according to a recent study. Using a prospective cohort, the Health and Retirement Study, researchers followed adults without a history of stroke in 1998 (n=18,117) for up to 14 years. They estimated linear regression models of instrumental or basic activities of daily living (I/ADL) trajectories, comparing individuals who remained stroke-free throughout follow-up (n=16,264), those who survived stroke (n=1,374), and those who died after stroke and before the next interview wave (n=479). They found:

  • Compared to those who were physically active, stroke survivors who were physically inactive at baseline had a lower probability of independence in ADLs and IADLs 3 years after stroke.
  • However, a similar difference in the probability of independence was also present 3 years before stroke, and there was no evidence that physical activity slowed the rate of decline in independence before or after stroke.


Rist PM, Capistrant BD, Mayeda ER, Liu SY, Glymour MM. Physical activity, but not body mass index, predicts less disability before and after stroke. [Published online ahead of print April 5, 2017]. Neurology. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000003888.